Fewer children than ever are strapping on skates and fewer are staying in the game as they grow. Those that do, if they show any talent, quickly end up sucked into a world of high-end skills coaches, endless games and tournaments and practice drills. Some of them also contend with unrelenting coaches behind the bench and furious parents screaming from the stands.
So is the game, as our guest today puts it, on the brink? How did we get here? Can we find a way to reclaim the pure joy of hockey for Canadian kids, and welcome new Canadians to the sport? Who’s working out there in small arenas and towns to make that possible, and how can we make their efforts matter across the country? Because that work is being done—just not on a national scale.
GUEST: Sean Fitz-Gerald, author of Before The Lights Go Out: A Season Inside A Game On The Brink